PAWTUCKET, R.I. – The higher seeded teams held serve in the opening round of the 2018 Little East Conference Championship Tournament as third-seeded Salem State defeated sixth-seeded Southern Maine and fourth-seeded UMass Dartmouth ousted fifth-seeded Bridgewater State Wednesday.
No. 3 Salem State 5, No. 6 Southern Maine 0 – Box Score
FOR THE RECORD: Salem State improved to 9-5 overall with the victory, while Southern Maine wrapped up the year at 6-7.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Vikings swept the three doubles matches to start the day before juniors Anastasia Startseva (Volgograd, Russia) and Meredith Macdonald (Lynn, Mass.) won the only singles points Salem State would need to secure the 5-0 win over the Huskies. Startseva posted a 6-0, 6-0 win over senior Courtney Jordan (Portland, Maine) at No. 1 singles, while MacDonald notched a 6-2, 6-0 fourth-singles victory over senior Margaret Smith (Farmingdale, Maine).
Startseva teamed with sophomore Caroline Robitalle (South Hadley, Mass.) to defeat Jordan and junior Ashley Owens (Penn Yan, N.Y.) at the top doubles position, while Macdonald and senior Maddie Madeline Allaire (Columbus, Ohio) won an 8-0 decision over Southern Maine's tandem of Smith and sophomore Elisa Harvey (Newton Abbott, United Kingdom). Senior Kristin Klimowicz (Ipswich, Mass) and sophomore Hannah Dahrouge (South Hadley, Mass.) won their third doubles match versus senior Joanna Scheidegger (Lyss, Switzerland) and junior Eden Martin (South Portland, Maine) with an 8-2 win.
UP NEXT: The Vikings will next take on No. 2 Plymouth State in Friday's semifinals, which will be hosted by top-seeded Rhode Island College.
No. 4 UMass Dartmouth 5, No. 5 Bridgewater State 1 – Box Score
FOR THE RECORD: UMass Dartmouth improved to 11-4 overall with the victory, while Bridgewater State wrapped up the year at 7-9.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Corsairs took two of the three doubles points to take a one-point advantage into singles play, where they won each of the first three matches that were played to completion to take the victory.
Senior Jenna Lahaie (Lakeville, Mass.) and junior Jaime Fastino (Rehoboth, Mass.) teamed up for an 8-3 win at first-doubles for UMass Dartmouth over senior Rachel Tarantino (Mansfield, Mass.) and junior Angelique Gray (Osterville, Mass.), and received an 8-6 victory at second doubles as juniors Monika Reining (Linsengericht, Germany) and Natasha Shiku (North Grafton, Mass.) downed junior Emma Mills (Westport, Mass.) and sophomore Madison Butkus (Attleboro, Mass.), 8-6.
The Bears collected their lone point of the contest with an 8-2 triumph from the third doubles duo of freshman Vanessa Rosa (Taunton, Mass.) and sophomore Olivia Sweeney (Taunton, Mass.) over sophomores Michelle Aftandilian (Watertown, Mass.) and Rachel Aftandilian (Watertown, Mass.).
Lahaie began the singles sweep for the Corsairs by dropping only three games in a straight-set win at the number one spot in the lineup over Mills (6-1, 6-2), while Michelle Aftandilian added a 6-2, 6-3 victory at third singles against Tarantino. Sophomore Emma Sokolovsky (Canton, Mass.) secured the final point of the day with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph versus Butkus at sixth singles to close out the match.
UP NEXT: The Corsairs will next take on No. 1 Rhode Island College in the second of two semifinal matches hosted by the Anchorwomen.